Sneak Preview

Sensations, experiences and smells pour through my fingers onto the keyboard. Just back from a month in the U.S. – New York, Washington, D.C., Iowa, Wisconsin, California – I don’t know where to begin.

To get a handle on it all, I write down some glimmers of my journey, a sneak preview of what’s to come:

New York:

Precious time with my son and his girlfriend

Pablo Neruda’s face on the Barnes and Noble coffee shop mural

An American kestrel alighting on rooftop terrace

Nocturnal stroll along the Chelsea High Line

New York Highline

New York Highline


En route from NY to Washington:

Warm welcome from girlfriend’s family

Touching five states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland

Independence Hall tower in the distance


Washington, D.C.:

Award at the Peace Corps Connect Conference for my memoir “Marrying Santiago”

Recalling fifty-year-old adventures with long lost Peace Corps friends

With my son, his first view of the iconic Capitol, the tall, slim Washington monument mirrored in the Reflecting Pool, the solemn Lincoln Monument.

Inca Trail exhibit at Native American Museum – Incan concept of reciprocity (ayni)


“Mammoth muffin” at Perkin’s roadside restaurant

Welcomed by eighty-nine-year-old Betty into her farmhouse

Corn fields, silos, green and yellow John Deere machinery, barns, barn quilts and white farmhouses displaying American flags

Local lingo: acreage, blacktop (paved road), and crick (creek); jokes about Minnesotans

Plot of wild prairie grasses, once site of covered wagons and grazing buffalo

Resplendent musical events at Luther College, friend Ann’s, alma mater

The plaintive call of the train passing through town. Whoo-whooooo.

Iowa cornfields

Iowa cornfields



My first sight since childhood of the wide Mississippi River

Green, wooded rolling hills

Our hostess Edie’s account of  taking tea with Svetlana Alliluyeva, Stalin’s daughter, who spent her last years in Richland Center, Wisconsin

Unique design of the A. D. German warehouse designed by Frank Lloyd Wright



The pleasure of familiar sights and scents of my hometown

Reunion with former classmates at the Coffee Roastery

Magnificent breakfasts prepared by my Airbnb hostess, Joanna

Point Reyes Station’s Bovine Bakery – refuge from the rain

Quiet moments at parents’ graveside at Tamalpais Cemetery

Poetry reading by two-time poet laureate Billy Collins

Blue Angels Squadron acrobatics over San Francisco Bay with friend Paula

San Francisco Bay

San Francisco Bay


And so much more that I must assimilate and let percolate….

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